by John Glaser
Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem is a deliberate strategy aimed at rendering a viable Palestinian state impossible, according to an internal report from the European Union obtained by AFP.
The Jerusalem Report 2012, written by the EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, urges member states to halt or avoid any financial activity that could conceivably contribute to Israel’s settlement construction. It effectively calls for economic sanctions on Israel.
Settlement construction in East Jerusalem “is part of a political strategy aiming at making it impossible for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states,” the report said.
“If the current pace of settlement activity on Jerusalem’s southern flank persists, an effective buffer between east Jerusalem and Bethlehem may be in place by the end of 2013, thus making the realization of a viable two-state solution inordinately more difficult, if not impossible,” it added.
The settlements are almost universally seen as illegal under international law. A January United Nations Human Rights Council report reiterated the international consensus, that Israel’s settlement policies violate article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention, which prohibits the transfer of civilian populations to occupied territory.
The report also concluded that the settlements are “leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
Careful observers have understood for a long time that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians are carefully crafted in order to block Palestinian statehood and obtain the West Bank as part of the Jewish state.
Israeli leaders deceitfully claim they are willing to negotiate peace with the Palestinians without preconditions, an attempt to condemn the Palestinian authorities as unwilling because they refuse to talk while Israel continues to steal more of their land.
The United States, meanwhile, continues to support Israel unconditionally with billions of dollars in aid and weapons every year, thereby sustaining a system of apartheid and depriving Palestinians a state of their own.